Whether they’re the star of a dish or the unexpected secret ingredient, anchovies make a flavorful, briny, savory addition to all kinds of dishes. There are so many different ways to enjoy the little fish: if you can get your hands on
fresh anchovies, try deep-frying, marinating, or grilling them; pick up a container of already marinated anchovies, such as Spanish boquerones, for an elegant tapa or salad topping; or sneak the oil-cured fillets into everything from pasta to steak—it’ll have all your guests asking “What did you put in this?”; or if you’re anchovy-shy, start with a tube of anchovy paste and add a bit to salad dressing, pasta, pizza, or soup for an indefinable salty tang. Whichever form of anchovies you choose to work with in the kitchen, it’s the best kind of lily-gilder. Here, our best anchovy recipes that all have that certain je ne sais quoi.
Turkish Steamed Anchovies and Tomatoes (Hamsi Bugulama)
Chef Giorgia Goggi, a self-proclaimed anchovy lover, marinates her own fillets and sun-dries raisins from local grapes to make this delicate sweet-sour dish. Store-bought marinated anchovies work perfectly well, and when they’re soaked in the dish’s pickling liquid, even grocery-store raisins will take on a juicy plumpness.
Get the recipe for Marinated Anchovies with Candied Citrus, Pickled Raisins, and Chile »
Get the recipe for Pecorino, Parsley, and Anchovy Sandwiches »
Bottarga, a cured mullet roe available at specialty fish markets and gourmet shops, adds a cheesy-tasting umami to everything it garnishes.
Get the recipe for Little Gem Lettuces with Marinated Anchovies and Bottarga »
The layer of onions on a proper pissaladière should be half as thick as the crust. The sweetness contrast nicely with the briny anchovy fillets and niçoise olives on top.
Get the recipe for Pissaladière »
Rumor has it that pasta puttanesca–literally “whore’s pasta”–was a quick and easy dinner of choice among Neapolitan working ladies, but the dish’s salacious history is unlikely.
Get the recipe for Classic Spaghetti Puttanesca »
Salsa verde, a Mediterranean condiment flavored with anchovies, capers, and herbs, partners nicely with seared, medium-rare lamb chops.
Get the recipe for Lamb Chops with Mint Salsa Verde »
This Swedish gratin of shredded crabmeat is traditionally made using Västerbotten, a salty aged cows’ milk cheese, but parmesan works well as a substitute. This recipe first appeared in our December 2013 issue along with Corey Arnold’s article
Polar Harvest. Get the recipe for Crab Gratin with Anchovies and Västerbotten Cheese »
Tacolicious owner Sara Deseran first discovered this smoky salad, from Neil Fraser of LA’s Redbird, while cooking at the annual Sabores San Miguel festival in Mexico. The trick to getting tender, flavorful octopus is boiling it first, then marinating and grilling it.
Spaghetti with Anchovy Garlic Sauce
Packed with tomatoes, local bell peppers, black niçoise olives, anchovies and tuna, pan bagnat is basically a salade niçoise on crusty bread.
Get the recipe for Pan Bagnat (Provençal Tuna Sandwich) »
This classic salad is easy to make from scratch at home.
Get the recipe for Caesar Salad »
This flavorful mix of broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, and potatoes is braised in olive oil that’s been infused with rosemary, chile flakes, lemon, and anchovies.
Get the recipe for Olive Oil-Braised Vegetables »
Bistecca alla Fiorentina with Watercress and Pistachio Salad
Cannellini Bean Salad with Radicchio and Cele
This hearty pork roast, rubbed with coriander, thyme, and allspice, gets a shot of brightness from a vinegary herb bagna cauda.
Get the recipe for Slow-Roasted Pork Shoulder with Parsley Bagna Cauda »
This fresh take on the classic dish from Nice, France does away with the lettuce and pairs succulent wild salmon instead of tuna with crisp vegetables, briny olives, and an umami-packed vinaigrette made with garlic, anchovies, basil, and scallions. Get the recipe for
Salmon Niçoise Salad with Garlic-Herb Dressing
This hearty twist on the classic Provençal pressed sandwich pan bagnat combines black olive tapenade, goat cheese, roasted chicken, and thinly sliced vegetables. Make it at least two to three hours before you plan to serve it to really let the flavors marry.
Get the recipe for Roast Chicken Pan Bagnat with Olive Tapenade and Goat Cheese »
Marinated and roasted red peppers top a crunchy, olive oil-rich crust in this Mallorcan red pepper tart, also known coca mallorquina, from chef Fabio Trabocchi.
Get the recipe for Mallorcan Red Pepper Tart (Coca Mallorquina) »
Capers, tuna, and anchovies balance the heat in these small, stuffed cherry peppers.
Get the recipe for Stuffed Cherry Peppers (Peperoni con Acciughe) »
Spaghettata di Mezzanotte (Pasta with Anchovies, Capers, and Tomato Sauce)
The after-party Italian tradition of
spaghettata di mezzanotte—”midnight spaghetti”—gave birth to this lusty pasta dish tossed with anchovies, capers, tomatoes, and garlicky bruschetta crumbs.
See the recipe for Spaghettata di Mezzanotte (Pasta with Anchovies, Capers, and Tomato Sauce) »
The crisp-fried veal topped with luscious egg, salty anchovies, and capers is a brilliant study in contrasting flavors and textures.
Get the recipe for Schnitzel à la Holstein »